Alaska lieutenant governor resigns over 'inappropriate comments' - governor
By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Alaska Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott resigned on Tuesday in an unexpected departure that the state's governor, Bill Walker, said stemmed from 'inappropriate comments' by his political running mate. Mallott, 75, the first Alaska Native elected to statewide office, had teamed up with Walker, a former Republican turned independent, to run on a unity ticket four years ago, and the two men were seeking re-election together in November.
By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Alaska Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott resigned on Tuesday in an unexpected departure that the state's governor, Bill Walker, said stemmed from "inappropriate comments" by his political running mate.
Mallott, 75, the first Alaska Native elected to statewide office, had teamed up with Walker, a former Republican turned independent, to run on a unity ticket four years ago, and the two men were seeking re-election together in November.
A new lieutenant governor, Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson, also a Native Alaskan and formerly the state's health and social services commissioner, was sworn in on Tuesday to succeed Mallott, the governor's office said in a statement.
"It is with profound disappointment and sadness that I accepted the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott," Walker said in the statement. "Byron recently made inappropriate comments that do not reflect the sterling level of behaviour required in his role as Lieutenant Governor."
Walker said he learned of "the incident" on Monday night, and that Mallott "has taken full responsibility for his actions."
In a resignation letter released shortly after he stepped down, Mallott said his departure was "compelled by inappropriate comments I made that placed a person whom I respect and revere in a position of vulnerability."
Neither the governor nor Mallott explained the nature of the comments that led to Mallott's departure, which came three weeks before the Nov. 6 election.
Davidson was quoted separately as saying: "Respect for women, and the dignity of all Alaskans, is our responsibility. I stand ready to serve as your lieutenant governor."
Walker faces a gubernatorial challenge from Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat Mark Begich, a former U.S. senator and Anchorage mayor, in a three-way race that shows Dunleavy, a former state legislator with a clear lead.
(Reporting by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.